A chartered accountant by training, Melissa Ngiam stumbled upon her next career path at Yayasan Generasi Gemilang when she first signed up as a volunteer. A firm believer that learning should be a life-long lesson, she regards knowledge as a powerful tool to add value to the lives of others. “Education enables you to contribute towards making your world – no matter how small or big that is – better in some form. It transforms us from being passive receivers into active contributors,” says Melissa who is currently serving as the NGO’s COO.
Working with an NGO brings forth its own set of challenges both on and off- ground but for Melissa and her team, the small achievements are worth celebrating. “Not everyone carries the belief that change is possible,” she shares candidly. “It’s never an easy task to change mindsets and values in people but we challenge ourselves to do that every day by encouraging the children and families, telling them they are capable of making a difference in not just their own lives but in the lives of others as well.”
She recalls a defining moment in her career when she was volunteering as a teacher. “There was a 15-year-old girl who could only write the alphabets to her name. That shocked me because I couldn’t comprehend how life would be like for her without basic literacy. This is why access to quality education is so important for us in Yayasan Generasi Gemilang,” she stresses.
She shares that the team is now looking at promoting a wider reach when it comes to their new programs. “This means trying crazy ideas and being prepared that not all of them may work. At the same time, we have to take calculated risks because donors trust us with their money. Increasing our people reach is never our only goal because growth should never come at the expense of impact.”
Melissa is wearing the Hublot Spirit of Big Bang King Gold White Pave